This week we celebrated Thanksgiving, a day our family has long enjoyed the tradition of inviting others into our home, to share in our blessings and offer the warmth of heart and home, and of course, massive amounts of mouth-watering food! We are an eclectic group, not necessarily all blood related; from the barely one year old, to the mature, grandparent aged, but on this day, all are welcomed as members our extended family. This year was no exception! We entertained a group just shy of 20, unless you include our “grand dog”, who makes it an even 20 guests (dogs count, right?). It was a day well planned for, and kept abreast of by way of my ever-growing list…”Where’s the list, Mom?” Check. Check. Check. Done! It’s all good, and ready to go…Thank you to all who helped, who came early and chopped, cooked, and assisted in many ways, even those supplying the  edifying banter. Always helpful! Overall, the day went off without a hitch! I had threatened to recreate the hilarious Saturday Night Live “Thanksgiving-Thanks Adele” skit if any unpleasant political conversation commenced. Luckily, our family’s rendition of “Hello” never had to come into play. That being said, let me move onto to the point of today’s message-on being thankful. In spite of everything, I maintain we have much to be thankful for in our family. Life goes on without stopping unless we purposefully stop and consider our many blessings. Here are some things that I am thankful for this fine day:

I am thankful that our sense of humor remains fully, and benignly, in tact, as a loving couple, as a devoted family with our sons and daughter’s-in-law (and our precious grandchildren), and with our loyal, ever diligently, caring friends. Laughter fills our home daily, as we can not help but engage each other in comical banter, often gently teasing the other in love. Art is most adamantly the instigator of such merriment, often jovially offering his services with a twinkle in his eye, where they are no longer permitted: “I’ll cut that” (this after having sliced his shaking hand open trying to cut a melon) or “I’ll drive!” (That ended in January.) To those who do not know my husband, it may seem sardonically cruel to suggest such things that he is no longer allowed to do because of his illness, but to him, it is willfully flying in the face of adversity. Laughter will keep us grounded, humor gives us relief. It is as easy as that.

I am thankful for the good days. Thanksgiving was  a good day. What can I say? With family and friends from Texas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts all surrounding us with love and acceptance that day, Art was much more himself than he had been for days prior to that.  With minor, barely noticeable  tremors, memory, intellect , and wit in tact, only his balance garnered him a struggle and some strife. Most of the day was a win-win for him;  having even offered the blessing at our considerable Thanksgiving gathering. Good days, it is what we pray for and graciously accept with much contentment and bliss.

I am thankful for the support of friends and family. I know I have touched on this before in my blog, but it bears repeating! When I called my son Dave and inquired as to what time he and our lovely daughter-in-law Jolin would be arriving on Thanksgiving,  he quickly and candidly responded with a gentle sensitivity, “When do you need us to come?” They were here at 9 a.m., ready to chop, cook, bake, prepare…whatever I wanted them to do. I appreciate that these two have the luxury of availability, not being parents to adorable, albeit an occasionally demanding toddler and preschooler, as my other son Kevin and sweet wife Caitlin are.That being said, Kevin quietly and with  uncompromising love lent a hand carving a turkey, as I had given each son the task of slicing one of the two birds we had cooked for dinner, a job always attended to by their father, appropriately passing the torch to the next generation…Both boys and daughter’s-in-law served our guests generously and attentively, preparing food, keeping a watchful eye on their father-in-law and instantly being at his side when needed. I couldn’t ask for more.

Lest I neglect to recognize the support of friends, such as  ride for  Art to enjoy coffee with the guys each week,  a ride for both of us into Massachusetts General Hospital for doctor visits, for those who spend time visiting with Art while I am at work,  unabashedly offering an arm to help steady him when he needs assistance, or texting daily to “check in” with him, which gives him  more pleasure than anyone can imagine…(that is for my sister-in-law Kim, in Texas, who engages in lightheartedly texting wars with Art everyday. Love you Kim). We are thankful for those who offer kind words of encouragement, and heartfelt prayers on our behalf.

We are thankful to you all and love you. Blessings.